With each passing year, we mourn and celebrate the lives lost of members of the community who made a difference in their places of work, to civic organizations, and to their families and others. This year, those losses were felt more keenly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We pored through death records and obituaries to find notable men and women who helped shape the Tri-State through their contributions.
Jerome A. "Jerry" Canterbury, 89 — Jan. 9, 2020
Jerry became Evansville’s first cross country champion in 1947 and broke the city record for the mile run in 1948. He would continue an athletic career on Arad McCutchan’s basketball team at Evansville College (the University of Evansville today). Jerry began a teaching and coaching career of his own in 1954, before returning to various schools in Evansville starting in 1955. During his coaching career at Bosse, he led both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams to multiple successes.
Margaret Jane (Kaiser) Welte, 93 — Jan. 28, 2020
Not only did Margaret own Earl Welte and Sons Masonry Contractors with her husband Earl, she also spent more than 40 years at the Homestead Restaurant in Newburgh, Indiana. She became known to many as the “Homestead Lady.” Though she was forced into retirement in 2005 due to the restaurant’s closure, Margaret still gave her time to others, volunteering at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the Newburgh Food Pantry. She was said to never know a stranger and was loved and admired by many.
Arlin T. “Mac” McRae, 94 — Feb. 10, 2020
A U.S. Marines veteran, Mac served during World War II and received the Purple Heart medal for injuries he sustained at Iwo Jima. He was a teacher of art and English at Tell City High School for 13 years before moving to Harrison High School to instruct English and Biblical Literature (which he introduced to the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation). He would go on to serve as the English Department Head and was the supervisor of English for EVSC. Mac also co-authored a series of vocabulary-building books and wrote a three-act play titled “Give Us A King.” He continued to serve as a substitute teacher until he was 90 years old.
Dr. David L. Rice, 90 — Jan. 15, 2020
The founding and first president of the University of Southern Indiana, Dr. Rice and his family moved to Evansville in 1967 with his appointment as dean of the city’s campus of Indiana State University. It was under his direction that the campus grew into USI, with enrollment jumping from 992 students to 7,443. He was dedicated not just to USI, but to the Evansville community as well. Dr. Rice was a founder of Leadership Evansville, and he also was involved with numerous other organizations and boards. Upon retirement, Dr. Rice and his wife Betty moved to New Harmony, Indiana, and became active in historic preservation and community restoration as well.
Mary Agnes Green, 104 — Feb. 15, 2020
Mary built a career in hotels, being one of the former co-owners of the Executive Inns in Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky, and Evansville and Vincennes, Indiana, and also managed the Vincennes hotel for 23 years. She and her husband Robert started WRTB radio station in Vincennes. In the early years of her marriage, she taught school in Graysville, Indiana. Throughout her life, she earned many honors including the University of Evansville Medal of Honor and the distinction of Kentucky Colonel.
Marie O. (Hartung) Bugg, 94 — March 12, 2020
Raised on a farm, Marie became a welder during the war effort in Evansville for World War II as well as played on the local girl’s softball team as a catcher. Throughout her life she owned and operated a number of restaurants including A&B Pie Shop, the Roundtable Restaurant, the Flame Lounge in Washington Square Mall, and the Hilltop Inn. When Marie retired from the Executive Inn, it was the conclusion of a 50-year career in the restaurant industry.
Donetta Epperson, 80 — March 18, 2020
Donetta was the founder of Landmark Realty & Development and was seen as a supportive and inspiring friend. She also was a founding member of the Evansville Dance Theater and the Musicians Club. She was known for having a servant’s heart and always being eager to help make the world a better and happier place.
Jewell Boyd, 74 — March 29, 2020
Jewell attended Central High School, where he lettered in football and track and became the first African American in the All-City Band and Orchestra. In his early years, he was a well-known drummer who played for local and popular bands. He will be remembered by friends and family for his boisterous laugh and love of meeting new people, lengthy conversations, grilling techniques, and playing the drums.
Stanley Emerson Turner II, 74 — April 6, 2020
Stanley came to Evansville with his family in 1959, where he attended North High School and was a part of the marching band. He joined the Navy upon graduation, serving two years in active and 23 years in reserve duty before retiring as a Chief Petty Officer. In the Navy, Stanley became a sheet metal journeyman and welder. He was very active in the local Sheet Metal Workers Union No. 20. His obituary described him as never meeting a stranger and always having a dad joke in his back pocket. Stanley was the first documented death in Vanderburgh County from COVID-19.
Sascha D. Hupmann, 49 — April 12, 2020
A member of the University of Evansville Purple Aces basketball team, Sascha helped lead the Aces to back-to-back MCC Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1992 and 1993. Upon his graduation, Sascha continued his basketball career in Europe where he led three teams to five national championships and played in the World and the European Championships. Following his basketball career, Sascha returned to Evansville where he earned a master’s degree in counseling and worked as an elementary school counselor.
John D. Engelbrecht, 68 — April 18, 2020
John was the chairman of South Central, Inc. and was a successful local entrepreneur and businessman. He took over as CEO of SCI at the age of 23 after the passing of his father. His strong leadership allowed him to expand the family business from a radio and television broadcasting company to a diversified holding company that also included financial services, low voltage contracting, real estate, addiction treatment centers, and many digital media services. He truly believed in being a steward of SCI to serve the Evansville region. He dedicated much of his time and energy to many organizations in the city.
Lisa (Hedge) Popham, 62— April 26, 2020
The well-loved assistant principal at Reitz Memorial High School for the last 23 years, Lisa was known to greet students with a smile and always held an open-door policy for her office. Her time at the school was more than assistant principal as she offered a comforting presence to students and faculty. The true joy of her life was family, especially being a grandmother.
Sharon G. Spain, 81 — May 6, 2020
An Evansville native and Bosse High School graduate, Sharon was a lover of music and excelled at writing and literature. She always looked forward to social gatherings and her unique sense of humor was well known. Sharon also enjoyed traveling — highlights of her adventures include visiting Italy and taking a safari to South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Douglas “Doug” Annakin, 54 — May 22, 2020
Doug built a career in the insurance industry over 30 years and was the partner and president of Evansville Operations at Shephard Insurance and Financial Services. He also was serving as secretary of the YMCA Board of Directors and was a Metro board member for the past 12 years. He loved and lived life to the fullest. He had a long list of close friends and business associates in the community.
Darrel E. Bigham, 77 — June 6, 2020
A regional historian and civic leader, Darrel was a professor of history at the University of Southern Indiana for nearly 40 years. He was the founding director of Historic Southern Indiana, a USI Outreach organization dedicated to promoting historical resources and sites in the region. Using his passion for local and regional history, Darrel authored six books and published numerous articles on Evansville. In 2000, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the 15-member Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He also served various leadership positions in local organizations.
Larry Grisham, 66 — June 9, 2020
Singer, guitarist, and founding member of rock and blues band The Beat Daddys, Larry traveled all over the U.S., Asia, and Europe to promote his brand of rockin’ blues with his well-known stage presence and growling vocals.
Richard “Gary” Lucy, 78 — June 14, 2020
A Central High School graduate and U.S. Army veteran, Gary was an instrumental part in the start of Omni Plastics, where he worked for 13 years before his retirement. He was a member of many organizations, including Reed Masonic Lodge and the Evansville Scottish Rite. Gary was a member of Living Word Christian Church and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity.
Lindsay M. Gentry, 38 — July 3, 2020
Lindsay served her country in the U.S. Army from 2001 to 2006, completing two tours in Iraq. She served in various capacities as a biological chemical warfare specialist, a bomb sniffer in combat, and finally as a prison guard. She won numerous awards and medals, including the Army Accommodation Medal. She always put her fellow troops first and went out of her way to protect them. Lindsay also was heavily involved in Veterans’ Affairs groups in Evansville,
Mildred Louise Robinson, 98 — Aug. 2, 2020
The last surviving class member to graduate from Lincoln High School in 1939, Ms. Mildred, as she was affectionately called, was a lifetime resident of Evansville. She worked at the Evansville State Hospital as a psychiatric attendant and retired after 18 years of service. She loved traveling, sewing, watching old movies, listening to jazz, and watching sports. Mildred also was an Evansville Housing Authority Commissioner from 1998 to 2013.
Antoinnitta “Toni” McGlown, 57 — Aug. 7, 2020
Antoinnitta was known to get into “good trouble” with her high school friends and co-workers at Rescare, where she served as residential manager for Olmstead Group Home for 22 years. Her passion and love of life was demonstrated in her hard work and dedication to her two children. Toni showed love, especially with her electric captivating McGlown smile. She also got her passion for cooking from her mom and Shirley Baker.
Thomas Gabe, 70 — Aug. 16, 2020
A former F.J. Reitz High School teacher and coach, Tom was the owner of Heritage Petroleum and founded Sub Tech, an environmental cleanup company. He had a passion for cycling, enjoying the Leadville Mountain Bike races in Colorado, Ride Across IN, the Evansville Bicycle Club, and riding with his friends. Tom also was known for his passion of the many ministries he devoted his time too, including City Church, Overseas Council/United World Missions, and more.
Laverne Hinton, 88 — Aug. 24, 2020
Laverne spent her career working at the Evansville Police Department, Bristol Myers, and retired from the Evansville Housing Authority. The doors to her home were always known to be open to strangers and her table fed many. She sang in the choir at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and served as the chair of the music department and youth director. Laverne also was active in the National Baptist Convention.
Julie A. Czoer, 77 — Aug. 25, 2020
The owner of First Class Realty, June had a big entrepreneurial heart. She was considered a pioneer in the industry, starting her realty business in 1991. She also thrived on raising her five children and helping people. Working and real estate were her way of life for 32 years. Julie also loved flying her red, white, and blue Heavensville Hot Air Balloon and was a rare female pilot.
Iowa Meriweather, 8 months — Aug. 28, 2020
A sweet spirit and happy baby, Iowa always was loving. She was a beautiful baby girl with soft curls who captured the hearts of all who knew her. She will be deeply missed as she lives on in the hearts of those who cared for her.
Elizabeth Bishop Mumford, 70 — Sept. 13, 2020
A former Evansville Day School teacher, Liz was a renowned artist whose style developed throughout the years, influenced by American folk art. Her works featured mermaids, maritime trade, and everyday life in historically significant locations. She showed many of her paintings at galleries from Florida to New England. One of her most recognized pieces is the Nauset Lighthouse, featured on Cape Cod Potato Chips merchandise until 2010. Liz has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including a retrospective of her work at the Cahoon Gallery in Cotuit, Massachusetts in 2018.
Marilyn G. Henry, 87 — Sept. 13, 2020
A student of fine art at the University of Nebraska, Marilyn had a long career as a fashion illustrator for the Evansville Courier, Strouse’s, the Evansville Store, DeJong’s, and many others. For more than 20 years, she taught commercial art and drawing at Ivy Tech, mentoring many artists now working in the city. A lifelong fan of classic Hollywood, Marilyn authored “The Films of Alan Ladd,” was a contributor to movie publications, and a cohost of “Superstar Movie” for WNIN.
Hon. William Daniel Stephens, 95 — Oct. 3, 2020
An Evansville native, Judge Stephens returned to Evansville after college to begin practicing law in 1951. During his career, he served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Vanderburgh County, an assistant city attorney for Evansville, and as the attorney for the Vanderburgh County Commissioners. He was appointed by Indiana Gov. Otis Bowen as the first Judge of Vanderburgh County Juvenile Court in 1977. In 1979, Gov. Robert Orr appointed Judge Stephens Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge, where he served until his retirement into private practice in 1987. After his career in private practice, he returned to service in the Vanderburgh Superior Court as a senior judge.
Ronald Preston Jones, 58 — Oct. 21, 2020
During his time at Mount Vernon Senior High School, Ronald excelled in sports, becoming accomplished in high jump. He set many records and received several awards including National High School Track All-American in 1980. His IHSAA state record still stands. Ron continued his career in athletics at Indiana University-Bloomington, where he graduated with a degree in education. To this day, he holds two IU all-time top 10 records in the high jump. He also competed at the Olympic trials in Los Angeles in 1984. Ron worked as a substitute teacher for several years and worked for 33 years at General Electric/SABIC. He also ministered through the Church of God In Christ.
Lillian Marie “Lilly” Gardner, 16 — Oct. 29, 2020
A junior at North High School, Lilly was very active in school with her many friends. In her youth, she participated in dance classes, tumbling, and enjoyed swimming, soccer, and volleyball. She dedicated her life to the Lord in the summer of 2019 at CIY Camp. She was an active member in the high school ministry at Christian Fellowship. Lilly created the light in the room and the fun began — she had a big heart and never met a stranger.
Dr. Mark Nunge, 53 — Nov. 21, 2020
Mark enjoyed sharing his knowledge of medicine in teaching medical students and working with residents, which he did for many years at the University of Iowa. He and his wife Beth moved to Newburgh, Indiana, in 2010 and Mark began to practice at Deaconess Hospital. He was an avid runner, and often returned from runs with sage life advice. He also loved to discuss, debate, and engage in friendly banter about the complexities of life. He greeted others with a warm smile and made a concerted effort to bring happiness. Through his diligence in work and in life, he made life better for the people around him.
Carolyn Dowell Rust, 88 — Nov. 29, 2020
Carole’s career in health care began as the director of the Vanderburgh County Medical Society. She then oversaw grant writing and served as the marketing administrator, long term planning executive, and the director of the PPO program at Deaconess Hospital. At the end of her career, Carole became a writer for Arts Indiana and contributor to many publications including Evansville Living and the Evansville Courier and Press.
Susan Roberta Enlow, 85 — Dec. 1, 2020
With a commitment to community service, Susan served on various boards of Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Deaconess Hospital Foundation, University of Southern Indiana Foundation, Mesker Park Zoo Foundation, and the USI/New Harmony Foundation. Her love of education brought her to the board of Joshua Academy locally, and other boards in New York and San Francisco. Her love of arts brought her to helping establish The New Harmony Project. She also helped to initially seed funds for The Ropewalk Retreat and was a long-time member of The Social Literary Circle.
Christy Rolley, 55 — Dec. 19, 2020
A mother of four, Christy was a graduate of Tell City High School and a former hair stylist. Featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Evansville Living magazine, she talked of the amazing network of lifelong and new friends, family, and more who helped her and her family. Many of those same friends and family talked of Christy’s strength and positivity through adversity.